6 possible trade destinations for Cardinals Tyler O'Neill

There aren't many free-agent position players available this offseason, and there are plenty of teams that are looking for an upgrade in the outfield for the 2024 season. Trades may become the preferred route for player acquisition.

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St. Louis Cardinals' outfielder Tyler O'Neill has been a topic of conversation for many years now. The former MVP candidate has fallen mightily since 2021 when he had a slash line of .286/.352/.560 for an OPS+ of 148. He also won a Gold Glove that year, only bolstering his MVP case. In 2022 and 2023, O'Neill slashed .229/.310/.397 for an OPS+ of just 97 in only 572 at-bats. O'Neill is arbitration eligible and could be tendered a contract today as the deadline is this evening.

O'Neill's strikeout rate decreased and his walk rate increased since 2021, but his hard-hit rate is where he primarily saw a difference. It plummeted from 52.2% to 43.3% in both 2022 and 2023. Defensively, Tyler hasn't taken a step back. According to Outs Above Average, he has been a positive defender in left field since his rookie season. Since 2021, O'Neill has accumulated 11 Defensive Runs Saved. He has a strong arm and decent range, perfect for a corner outfield spot.

Due to the weak free agent market for position players, the trade market for position players may heat up during the Hot Stove. The Cardinals, a team with plenty of position player depth, could take advantage of teams looking to upgrade their offense. If John Mozeliak finds a team that has a glut of pitching talent but a dearth of offensive firepower, he may have found a perfect partner for Tyler O'Neill.

There are many teams that have a need for an outfield power bat. The bonus with O'Neill is his Gold Glove-caliber defense. The New York Yankees, Arizona Diamondbacks, Cleveland Guardians, Detroit Tigers, Houston Astros, and the San Francisco Giants could all use an upgrade in the outfield. Each of these teams seems poised to contend for at least their divisions next season (excluding possibly the Detroit Tigers, but you never know with the American League Central), and they could all use an upgrade in the corner outfield.

Here are six teams who would benefit by trading for Tyler O'Neill and what they could provide the Cardinals in exchange.